hashbrown life

I'll start by saying that I know this picture isn't amazing. But trust me, the meal itself is amazing. I like my onions crispy and burned and that just doesn't ever photography well.

So the next month's worth of posts will probably all have some flavor of "moving"... including posts related to food. But this one is moving times two... because it is partially in honor of my friend Caroline moving back to the East Coast. See ya LA! Hello NYC! Caroline is super smart about making healthy food decisions which often normally means pulling back on all things I love: meat, cheese, and carbs. By some miracle, this recipe has all three.

To be honest, Caroline's recipe was slightly different - and as a result my quiche came out even more different. I'm actually not sure that I can call mine a quiche. I think I have to call it a casserole or something. Or maybe a faux quiche. Regardless of what you call it, it was really quite tasty. I normally tire of leftovers after 2 days but I made it to day 3 on this sucker. 

Differences between Caroline's and this faux-quiche:

  • shredded hashbrowns v tatertots. I honestly thought I was following the recipe when I used tatertots because I call them hashbrowns - but there is clearly a difference here. Shredded hashbrowns are thinner so the result will be crispier and not soak up as much egg. 
  • turkey bacon v sausage. I blacked out when I was in Roche Bros and didn't even realize that I had picked up the wrong thing. I guess my subconscious needed something really hearty. Using bacon will keep this dish lighter - and obviously healthier.
  • egg ratio. This comes back to the potato decision. I used the same amount of eggs as Caroline but they got all soaked up with my tots. So, next time... I'll have to add 2 eggs to get that quiche like ratio.
This recipe is beyond easy to make - and make your own. Toss in your favorite veggies, cheese, and meat. I spent the most amount of time defrosting the hashbrowns... and smooshing them into the pan. And by most, I mean I made this super quick.

(Step 1) Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F
(Step 2) Combine hash browns, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and salt and pepper in a mixing bowl
(Step 3) Grease a pie plate or square casserole dish with cooking spray and add the hash brown mixture, pressing evenly into the pie plate to form a pie crust.
(Step 4) Bake for 25-30 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Pull from the over and reduce heat to 350 degrees F.
(Step 5) Sauté sausage over medium high heat until brown (add a little olive oil if needed). Add chopped vegetables over medium high heat about 5 minutes, until tender. 
(Step 6) Add ⅓ of the shredded cheese to the bottom of the pre-baked crust. Spread the cooked vegetables evenly on top of the cheese and top with another ⅓ of the cheese
(Step 7) Combine eggs, milk, salt and pepper and whisk until frothy. Pour egg custard into the crust
Top with the remaining cheese
(Step 8) Bake for 40-50 minutes at 350 degrees F or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Quiche should be firm on top but still jiggle a little when you shake the pan
(Step 9) Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Shopping List
16 ounces frozen hash browns, defrosted 
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
salt and pepper to taste
cooking spray
1/2 lb of sweet Italian sausage (3 links)
2 cups of chopped raw vegetables (e.g. green peppers, mushrooms, onion)
3 large eggs
1½ cups 2% milk 
3/4 - 1 cup shredded cheddar

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